I have been overweight my entire life. I have never been thin, don't know what that would be like!! I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired! That's when I finally got serious and did my homework and research and found that the lap band appeared to be an answer to all my prayers. I was constantly losing my voice, getting laryngitis and sinus infections along with the problem of edema in my legs and ankles. I was just miserable and not happy. I know it won't be a quick fix, but it's a start. Since I made up my mind to do something, I felt better. I attended an informational meeting at the end of November 2006. In order for my insurance company, BC/BS, to pay for the lap band, I had to lose weight. I was over the BMI of 50 and they consider that experimental and won't pay. They would pay for the gastric bypass, but I am a weenie and not inerested in that surgery. There are just too many risks and complications and with my luck, those would happen to me....lol. Since January 1st I have been smoke free, which in itself is a miracle. Although I lost both of my parents to cancer (dad died in 2000 at the age of 72 from lung cancer, even though he quit smoking 20 years earlier and my mom died in 2004 from colon cancer after she had been declared "cured" from throat cancer), I had no desire to quit smoking. Until I learned that you had to be smoke free for one month for the lap band. I talked with my doctor and he put me on a prescription called Chantix - and it worked like a charm! I have been smoke free since January 1st and I have no desire or craving for cigarettes - and I only took one month's worth of the medication. Next up was my Diet Pepsi. I gave that up as well and have only had it when I have been out to eat. But once I have the surgery, at least I know it won't be a problem. I now drink plain water or flavored water with no calories. I have finally found the protein drink I can actually get down without gagging - Isopure - it's delicious!!! It seems like it has taken forever to get to the point of getting approved and setting the surgery date, but I know for a fact, it was relatively quick. There are others who had to wait 2-3 years for it to happen for them. God bless them - I don't know that I could have waited that long! July 16th is the date and I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!